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Teen saved from Griffith Park sewer; men plead guilty to Boyle Heights fire bombings; new DASH routes

Apr 8, 2018

Eastside Review
EDITED by BARRY LANK

A recap of some of the past week’s scenes, sightings and stories from across the Eastside.

  • Thirteen-year-old Jesse Hernandez was rescued after falling into an old network of sewers and drains in Griffith Park. Now, officials are looking at why the abandoned maintenance building where Hernandez fell through a wooden plank into the sewer pipe has been left standing for about three decades after it was decommissioned. You Tube also has footage from one of the videos used to help locate Hernandez, showing what it was like in one of the sewer pipes that run underneath Griffith Park and along the L.A. River. L.A. Times
  • Ten new routes for DASH buses are being proposed, mostly in Northeast L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. New service would include Elysian Valley/Cypress Park, Glassell Park/Highland Park and Boyle Heights – as well as Valley service in North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sylmar, Canoga Park, Mission Hills, Van Nuys/North Hills and Sun Valley. The city’s transportation department is also recommending running more evening and weekend service and more frequent daytime service on most routes — every 15 minutes. Curbed
  • Occidental College finally plans to have air conditioning installed in all of its residence halls by 2022, after years of requests and complaints by students, some of whom have used their own portable air conditioners in violation of college policies. Currently all but five of the dorms lack AC. “People ask all the time, ‘Do the buildings have AC?’” said Eric Malmquist, a student who provides tours of the campus to prospective students and their parents. The Occidental
  • Three members of the Big Hazard gang have plead guilty in connection with firebombing African-American residences inside the Ramona Gardens housing project in Boyle Heights in 2014. The Latino gang members, who face more than 30 years in federal prison on civil rights and racketeering charges, said the attacks were intended to get the black families to move out of the predominantly Latino housing project. Two additional defendants in the case are scheduled to go trial in July. The Eastsider
  • Silver Lake resident and former neighborhood council member Janet Cunningham died on March 17. She worked as a casting director and landscape designer, and – with her late son – she ran Contemporary Artists Space of Hollywood, a club and gallery. NOLA
  • What happens to the Toys R Us store in Atwater Village, now that the company is holding a liquidation sale as it prepares to close operations? A gym? A Target? One thing many brokers agree on: The storefront building in the Franciscan Metro Center probably won’t stay empty for too long. “‘Is it a landlord’s market?’ One hundred percent – one hundred fifty percent,” said Glenn Shelhamer, principal at the Shelhamer Group realty in Los Feliz.  The Eastsider
  • L.A. Unified school board member Refugio “Ref” Rodriguez was arrested last month and held for few hours on suspicion of public intoxication at a Pasadena restaurant. Rodriguez, whose district includes schools from Silver Lake to East Los Angeles, was released after a few hours and was not charged with any crime. However, he told the L.A. Times that he had joined a support group and is in counseling to avoid further problems. L.A. Times
  • A Silver Lake woman who helped rescue a dog that was being slammed and punched is being honored by the L.A. County District Attorney with a Courageous Citizen Award. The Eastsider
  • Police say they have found the vehicle involved in hit-and-run in Lincoln Heights that killed a 67-year-old woman. No arrests had been made as of Thursday, but detectives were reviewing surveillance videos. The person killed, Bi Xu Chen, was going through recycled items when she was struck. KTLA
  • The city civil engineer in charge of the Sixth Street Viaduct replacement connecting Boyle Heights and Downtown L.A. is no stranger to high-profile and complicated projects. Julie Allen was involved in the rehabilitation of Echo Park Lake and Machado Lake. At the helm now of her biggest project yet, Allen is only the second woman to serve at the highest level of project management in the city’s Bureau of Engineering.  The Eastsider
  • Baxter Street – one of the steepest streets in L.A. is back in the news. L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez reviews the traffic congestion and accidents that residents of the narrow residential street say have increased thanks to Waze and other navigation apps. One resident said they requested that Baxter be removed as a shortcut on the app but Waze said no way. L.A. Times
  • Activist Nancy Meza is now sharing her knowledge with other gentrification opponents around the country. The 30-year-old Meza – who appears in satirical videos as La Quirky Nancy – helped the anti-gentrification group Defend Boyle Heights refine its tactics. Capital & Main
  • Most of the money raised by Measure H will go to The L.A. Homeless Services Authority to fight homelessness. But an audit found that the county agency remains understaffed and unprepared to deal with the large infusion of public funds. KPCC 
  • A look at the life of Romulo Avelica Gonzalez, the Lincoln Heights man whose widely publicized arrest by ICE agents last year sent shock and anger through the neighborhoods. L.A. Times
  • An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a man armed with a knife on the 1000 block of S. Leonard Avenue in East Los Angeles. Police said the suspect approached the deputy, who was getting out of his car to investigate a report of a man in his 40s waving a knife around. The Eastsider
  • The owner of El Mercado has filed suit against the city over approval of a controversial affordable housing project next to the Boyle Heights shopping center. The owner said the city failed to conduct a full environmental impact report before granting approval. The suit was filed a few weeks after Councilman Jose Huizar dropped his long-time opposition to the 49-unit complex. L.A. Times
  • A series on a changing Lincoln Heights focuses on the immigrants who have returned to Mexico in the wake of rising rents and anti-immigration sentiment. The series also notes an 89-year-old woman who was forced to move out of her rented bungalow after 55 years in the wake of gentrification. L.A. Times

Scene of the Week

A post shared by Danny (@flatrater) on Jan 15, 2018 at 6:05pm PST

Railyard, Lincoln Heights | Danny

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